Monday, 31 July 2017

Devotions or Not or Just Different or?

(originally journaled June 29, 2017)

Since the beginning of January this year I have pretty faithfully been doing "devotions" every day, reading 6 chapters of Scripture (one each from the Pentateuch, historical books, poetic books, prophets, gospels, and epistles), plus a long list of prayers, and even some coloring in the "Inspire...Creative Journaling" Bible I was given for Christmas.

I really loved this hour (plus) daily for a long time, but lately, I've been getting less enthusiastic. Wishing for a change, but feeling kind of guilty since I kind of committed myself to this for the year (or at least until I finished reading the Bible through, which still has a way to go, especially through all those prophets--some sections I'm well into a second go-through).

And I feel kind of committed to praying for a lot of people, yet at the same time, I sometimes wonder if this is really what God wants. At one time, I would have even said "expects" or "requires." But lately, I've been wondering (again) what is the "right way" to pray and spend time with God.

So many books I've read and sermons I've heard in the past about the "right way to pray" and "the right way to have devotions"--and yet none of them really agree. I've tried lots of different ways, and all of them (or at least most of them) seemed to "work" for a while ... but I don't seem to have the "discipline" or whatever it takes to stick with one method for the rest of my days, though apparently, some people do.

But then that "one thing for the rest of my days" isn't really my nature, is it? I tend to move on from one thing to another in terms of jobs and hobbies and interests, though I have overarching things I stick with, like loving to learn, teach, write
--and seek God! It's just that I like to explore new ways to do things, and different emphases, and I don't think that really is a problem (though I'd probably have a better pension coming up if I'd had more "stick-to-it-iveness" in my teaching career, LOL)!

I've been reading an e-book called "Flee, Be Silent, Pray" about the kind of meditative practices of the early church fathers and in monasteries--and which continue to the present in some Christian traditions. Reading it has made me really relax about my devotion worries--so much so, in fact, that I've "gone without" since I started reading the book 6 days ago. I feel "relieved"--if a bit "guilty." And I don't intend to do "catch-up"--and even plan to "take a break" at least for the next 2 or 3 weeks or so while I have a lot of company coming. So there.

Though I may start again after that, and/or change my "process" ... Lord, I need Your guidance here.

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